• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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“Amazing Grace” – Much More Than Sound!

Il Divo – Amazing Grace

From his album The Promise, Il Divo live! Enjoy!

Why Government Spending Fails To Stimulate Economic Growth

Quoting Brian M. Riedl:

When conventional economic wisdom repeat­edly fails, it becomes necessary to revisit that con­ventional wisdom. Government spending fails to stimulate economic growth because every dollar Congress “injects” into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy. Thus, gov­ernment spending “stimulus” merely redistributes existing income, doing nothing to increase produc­tivity or employment, and therefore nothing to cre­ate additional income. Even worse, many federal expenditures weaken the private sector by directing resources toward less productive uses and thus impede income growth.

A Moment With Charles Spurgeon

God has said it; men and women must serve Him-they must serve Him in His own way, and they must serve Him in His own strength too, or He will never accept their service. That which men and women do, unaided by divine strength, can never be accepted by God. There must be a consciousness of weakness before there can be any victory.

Intolerance Towards The Mumbai Islamic Terrorists Is Intolerable

The new name for “insanity” is “political correctness.” It is the ongoing state of mind of our leaders and the media elite. What other condition fits the symptoms of a nation that is trying to forget its heroic past in order to grovel at the feet of barbarians? We are welcoming genocide to our shores by refusing to accurately name the murderers.

Gary Bauer writes:

As the terrible events unfolded in Mumbai, CNN media coverage demonstrated over and over why Judeo-Christian civilization and our allies may very well lose this war. CNN commentators repeatedly referred to the attackers simply as “terrorists” or “extremists.” In one three-hour period, the word “Islamic” was used only once. Statements by many world “leaders” were no better. The typical statement merely pledged to defeat terrorism without ever specifying who the terrorists were! Even the Bush Administration has cooperated in this suffocating political correctness, which prevents us from even naming the enemy that wants us all dead. At the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, decisions were made last year to ban the phrase “Islamic terrorists” and to replace it with terms such as “militant.”

The jihadists who are attacking civilization are educated in madrasses – Islamic religious schools. They cite the Koran as their authority. They follow the teachings of Muslim imams worldwide, who issue “fatwas,” religious decrees justifying the murder of infidels and moderate Muslims. They praise “Allah” as they kill and die. These “clues” make it fairly clear that they aren’t Baptists or Mormons. How sick is it that while our enemy screams who he is, we are more concerned about not being perceived as intolerant? President-elect Obama built his whole campaign on the need for diplomacy and negotiations. I hope he will quickly learn that the Islamofascists couldn’t care less about words and diplomats.

Elbridge Gerry: The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Elbridge Gerry

Elbridge Gerry

As Governor, he called on the State of Massachusetts to pray that . . .

“. . . with one heart and voice we may prostrate ourselves at the throne of heavenly grace and present to our Great Benefactor sincere and unfeigned thanks for His infinite goodness and mercy towards us from our birth to the present moment for having above all things illuminated us by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, presenting to our view the happy prospect of a blessed immortality.

“And for our unparalleled ingratitude to that Adorable Being Who has seated us in a land irradiated by the cheering beams of the Gospel of Jesus Christ . . . let us fall prostrate before offended Deity, confess sincerely and penitently our manifold sins and our unworthiness of the least of His Divine favors, fervently implore His pardon through the merits of our mediator.

“And deeply impressed with a scene of our unparalleled ingratitude, let us contemplate the blessings which have flowed from the unlimited grave and favor of offended Deity, that we are still permitted to enjoy the first of Heaven’s blessings: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Framer of the Bill of Rights, Vice President of the US)

Preaching Is Worship

Quoting Ron Owens:

Recently . . . a pastor shared with me that he now had less than twenty minutes to preach on Sunday morning because more time was needed for “worship.” He said the music portion of the service was expanding, and now that a drama skit was being included each week something had to be cut. They had mailed out a survey to the church membership. The question was: Which would you prefer: (1) Add fifteen minutes to the length of the service? (2) decrease the “worship” time? (3) shorten the sermon? The majority chose to have a shorter sermon.

As we analyze this, several things surface. First of all, this is not a unique situation for a pastor in America. It is, rather, a picture of church today, both from the standpoint of the leadership and of the people. The people want to be entertained, and the church leadership is willing to oblige. If the people want more music and drama, we will give it to them. Today music and drama will win hands down over preaching in many of our churches.

Secondly, in this situation there was a disorientation on the part of the pastor and people as to what worship is. . . . Many view the music portion of the service as . . . the worship time, while the rest of the service is something else. They do not see preaching, prayer, and Scripture reading as worship.

Thirdly, this church did not understand that worship is essentially a response to God’s Self-revelation in Scripture and that, in the context of worship, preaching is God speaking to His people through His Word. One of the outgrowths of the Reformation was the restoring of the priority of preaching to the church. This was visibly evidenced by the returning of the pulpit to the center of the platform.

Pastor, when your people gather, they need to hear from God. They have been hearing all sorts of messages all week long; they now need to hear a message from His Word. As important as it is for them to have time to express themselves to God, it is more important that they hear God express Himself to them; that they be fed from His Word; that they be instructed in the ways of God’s kingdom; that they be effectively strengthened by His might in their inner beings to be salt and light to the world in which God has placed them.

Ron Owens, Return to Worship: A God-Centered Approach (Broadman and Holman, 1999, p. 102-103)

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